KILL la KILL- 09 (Time to defeat an unyeilding shield.)

キルラキル ep. 09
KILL la KILL SPOILER Review

Synopsis:

Satsuki reveals the order of Ryuuko’s opponents, based on the number of fights they’ve won. Ima, with the fewest fights, since he only fights in defense, is first, followed by Houka, Nonon, and then a rematch with Uzu. Ryuuko is ready to start, but Ima tells her she has to wait until 1pm, which is hours from now. Ryuuko has lunch with Mako, during which Mikisugi-sensei shows up and temporarily incapacitates Mako. He advises Ryuuko not to go through with these fights, but since he won’t give her the information she wants, her only choice is to fight to get to Satsuki.

When the battle starts, Ryuuko refuses to attack, knowing Ira simply absorbs them to transform. So, he attacks himself, transforms, then starts whipping her as discipline. Ryuuko’s finishing move doesn’t work when he transforms down because his seimeiseni threads are protected. Ira recalls how as a senior in high school, he opposed Satsuki, vowing to never kneel to her. Though she ultimately defeated him, his resolve ensured that he in fact never kneeled to her, earning her respect and her offer to have him be her shield. After hearing her plans, he agrees to wait for her.

Back in the present, Senketsu has a plan, which causes Ryuuko to be caught in Ira’s Goku uniform. However, Senketsu sprouts blades, frees them, allowing Ryuuko to do her finishing move as his seimeiseni threads are exposed, and defeat Ira. The other three in the Elite Four are astonished by this. Ira is about to commit suicide for his shameful loss, but Satsuki stops him, telling him it is too early to kneel in defeat.  Satsuki offers Ryuuko a chance to rest, but Ryuuko rejects that, wanting to defeat the remaining three and get to Satsuki as soon as possible. As such, Houka descends to be her next opponent.

Thoughts/Review:

I like how the anime continues to work in backstory to flesh out the characters. As I mentioned in the previous episode, Ira does honorable things. Indeed, it would appear he is following the Bushido code of justice (as head of the school’s discipline committee), courage (as witnessed in how he takes on opponents, no matter how powerful), mercy (in how he saved a boys life), politeness (in how he treated Ryuuko, who is an opponent of his Satsuki-sama), honesty (he tells it how it is in all situations), honor (shown repeatedly, right down to his foiled attempt at seppuku), loyalty (Satsuki-sama), and self-control (he doesn’t battle people just because he can, only when there are no other options).

Seeing Satsuki’s offer to allow Ryuuko to rest before her next fight, combined with the second flashback of Satsuki and Ira, makes me think again that Satsuki isn’t the ultimate opponent here. I could be wrong, but Satsuki sees a world gone wrong. Based on the flashbacks we’ve seen thus far, the world seems a very jacked up place. So her notion of creating an army to accomplish her goal by using Honnouji Academy as a proving ground makes a lot of sense.

For Uzu and Ira, we see that Satsuki has not just sought out strong people, but people with true resolve, courage, a drive to become better than they already are, and ultimately, people who would be loyal to her. These traits could be used for good or evil, but at the moment, I’m leaning toward good, especially after seeing Ira’s complete flashback sequence. After Uzu’s defeat, she gave him a second chance because she saw him display these traits after he had his eyes sealed shut. For Ira, he showed those traits from the start of his fight with Ryuuko, and she’s not going to allow him to kill himself and waste a valuable resource in whatever’s to come.

Ultimately, I think that everything Satsuki is doing is a test for Ryuuko, to see if she’s worthy to stand at Satsuki’s side when the war begins. With a Kamui Robe, Ryuuko has a massive advantage, thus for her, the bar would have to be set very high.  So, how truly resolved is Ryuuko to get what she wants? How courageous is Ryuuko in the face of such opposition as the Elite Four? Does Ryuuko truly want to rise above and continue to be better than she was before? Would Ryuuko, upon learning the truth (and here’s where I assume Satsuki had nothing to do with Ryuuko’s father’s death), be loyal and help Satsuki defeat whatever the true enemy is?  I guess we’ll find out eventually.

As to Ryuuko’s fight with Ira, she had an advantage in that she’d seen him fight and knew of two of his transformations. I liked the tactical thinking on Senketsu’s part, playing into Ira’s one mistake, which is all it takes sometimes to defeat an opponent.

Ryuuko’s fight with Houka will be different in that his fighting style is completely unknown.  I look forward to seeing how she overcomes him, and Satsuki’s reaction to that.

KILL la KILL, despite the ecchi elements, is proving to be a pleasant, interesting, and entertaining surprise. So far, I’m glad I decided to pick this one up.

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